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6 Ways To Pour Life Into Your Aging Pool

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There’s nothing scenic about looking out a window wall with a view of a pool with worn-out decking or missing ceramic tile trim or cloudy water that won’t stay keep clean any more. Just like your kitchen and bathroom, your swimming pool may need a facelift. After 20 to 25 years, most pools need some refurbishing.

After talking to pool companies in Arizona, we came up with the following issues you might consider. We also calculated possible prices for fixes:

1 | Pool’s Plaster Coating Starts Chipping Off

Many older pools in Phoenix have thin plaster surfaces that are cracked, discolored and flaking off the concrete surface inside the pool. That increases the growth of algae and creates problems that make it very difficult to keep a pool clean. “If a public pool at a hotel or motel reaches that stage in Maricopa County, the health department would probably shut it down,” says Michael Sandoval of Above & Beyond Pools in Gilbert.

Many homeowners must use more and more chemicals to keep the pool sanitary, he says. When the plaster chips off, you’re likely to scuff up your toes and heels on the surface. Prices vary by the size of a pool, but to replaster a very small pool could cost $2,500; recovering with a pebble or quartz finish could cost from $3,000 to $6,000. Yes, the old surface must be jackhammered off the concrete before the new surface can be installed.

2 | Pool Decking is Cracked, Crumbling or Delaminating

Decking around a pool could deteriorate, too. That means you can hurt your feet on the surface, of course. Sometimes the decking will even heave up in some areas, says Doug Sydenham, general manager of Postorino Pools in Scottsdale. Removing all the decking and replacing it or even enlarging it can be expensive. But sometimes, concrete pavers or travertine tiles can be put on top of the old deck.

Laying pavers on top of a very small deck might cost as little as $900. But ripping off the old deck so you can install more expensive surfaces can range from $3,000 to $30,000.

3 | Pool Waterline Tiles Develop Heavy Calcium Buildup or Start Falling Off

The majority of swimming pools have tile edging running around the top of the pool for a few inches of depth. Sometimes there could be 12 inches or more of decorative tile. If your pool is 20 years old or more and those tiles are really bad, pool companies will decline to replace them separately. After all, the tiles would be removed and replaced anyway when the surface of the pool is replastered. The cost of doing the tile would be included in the cost of re-plastering the entire pool.

4 | Your Old Pool Pump Keeps Breaking Down

Steve DeCook of E-Konomy Pools in Tucson recommends that many of his clients replace their pool pumps. That’s because the new variable speed pumps can save 70 percent of the cost of energy for your pool. But they’re not cheap – probably $950 to $1,300. So, you may want to wait to replace a newer pump that is running well.

5 | Cloudy Water in the Pool is Filled with Dissolved Solids

DeCook also recommends draining and refilling pools with fresh water every four years to keep the water cleaner. “All the water in the pool will evaporate in a year, but all the solids will be left behind,” he says.

You can do this job yourself if you rent a submersible pump. Then you must drain the water into the sewer system or somewhere in your yard. But keep the water away from your plants. Possible cost of having this done: $125.

6 | Pool Fencing is No Longer Secure

All homeowners should check now and then to make sure the closing mechanism on their pool gate still locks and the entire area is child-safe and secure.


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